My fiance grew up eating chasseur made with the Colman’s mix and, as a food ponce, I have begrudgingly made it with the packet for a few years now. Recently though the craving struck and we out of the beloved pre-prepared mix. Uh oh. Armed with the ingredient list off the internet I attempted to faithfully reproduce the flavour using what you might call ‘normal’ ingredients.
Scanning the ingredients I found the usual suspects: onion and tomato powder, garlic and dried herbs. But among the maltodextrin (yum) and the generically described ‘flavourings’ I found the mix’s secret weapon: yeast extract.
So I turned to everyone’s favourite spreadable yeast product, Marmite, popped some on a spoon and dipped it in the bubbling pot. Kapow! Secret ingredient discovered. I stirred in a generous teaspoon and tasted. I had achieved, for my sins, chicken chasseur packet mix perfection.
700g boneless chicken thighs
Salt & pepper
3 tbsp flour
2 white onions, sliced
2 carrots, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
500ml chicken stock
1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Marmite
2 large waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed 1cm x 1cm (optional)
Coat the chicken thighs in olive oil, season generously and then spread the flour over both sides of the chicken. Pour some more oil into a large saucepan and fry the chicken on a high heat until golden.
Add the onions and carrots to the pan and cook until softened and gently golden. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic (and the mushrooms if you’re using them) and cook for around a minute or until the garlic softens.
Pour your chicken stock into the pan and add the tomato paste and the Marmite. Bring the pan to the boil and then simmer for around 30 minutes until it has reduced to sauce consistency. If you’re using potatoes, add them 20 minutes before the end of cooking.
Serve with a sprinkling of parsley.
“Optional mushrooms in a chasseur? Why that’s not a chasseur at all.” Perhaps. But what if you’re cooking for a fungi-phobe? The mushrooms add a nice earthiness but the Marmite definitely takes care of a lot of that part of the flavour. I think they can safely be omitted.
Image via Flickr